A web–based tool for analysis and dissemination of price data

The FPMA Tool is a major component of the FPMA activity. It provides an advanced technical solution for dissemination and analysis of price information. The Tool was developed in 2010 as part of FAO’s initiatives to address the soaring food prices. 

The first version of the tool was developed with support from the Government of the Kingdom of Spain and the current version was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The tool is linked to the FPMA database, which includes monthly and weekly retail and/or wholesale prices for several food commodities in selected markets of each country. For each price series, supplementary information is included about the commodity (per capita consumption, self-sufficiency ratio) and the market (geographic location and brief description).

The FPMA Tool provides an easy way to access the large amounts of data present in the database. It allows users to quickly browse single price series, create comparisons among countries/markets/commodities, download of charts, data and basic statistics such as averages, standard deviations and percentage changes.

Besides supporting GIEWS and other FAO Units’ analysis, the FPMA Tool and database has become a valuable Public Good for providing the international community and decision-makers with timely and reliable information. The price data is used by a wide range of international organizations, academia and the media. Major users include the World Bank (WB), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

National FPMA Tool

Launch of FPMA Tool to key stakeholders in Tajikistan

The FPMA Tool is being adapted for use at country level

Building on the success and experience gained through developing the Food Price Monitoring and Analysis Tool at global level, the Tool has been adapted for use at country level. The tool is linked to existing data collection systems and allows national and international stakeholders to easily monitor, analyze and disseminate price information for a wide range of commodities in markets of their choice with daily or monthly frequency. The country level versions of the price tool contain a broader selection of commodities and markets than what is available in the global level Tool. The FPMA tool has been implemented in Tajikistan and in Guatemala and work is ongoing in Zimbabwe. A TCP project is also in finalization for implementation at regional level in Central America, in collaboration with FAOSLM and the Red Regional de Mercados of Central America.

Several other countries have expressed an interest in having the FPMA Tool installed, including Bangladesh, Costa Rica and Paraguay, as it would resolve gaps in the analysis and diffusion of price data. Efforts are being made to ensure that interested countries receive the Tool as well as the related training and equipment where appropriate.